Immigration reform has been a hotly debated political topic for years now. It seemed inevitable just a couple of years ago that immigration reform would happen, granting new alternatives for people living in the U.S. without proper status. Although immigration reform may eventually happen, (see article) the Obama administration has offered short-term relief to certain people who arrived to the U.S. under the age of 16.
This program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), began on August 15, 2012. While it does not offer permanent lawful status, it does grant a two-year work permit. It takes approximately 6 months to receive approval once the DACA application is submitted. Applicants from Mexico, who are approximately 75% of the total applicants as of March 2013, had a 57% approval rate. DACA applications are accepted on a rolling basis and there is no deadline. As of right now, USCIS has not offered specific guidelines on a renewal process.
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Some DACA applications may be straightforward, but some may be more complicated depending on the person’s immigration and criminal history.
Our Seattle immigration law firm, L.I.H. Law, offers low-cost immigration consultations to help you understand eligibility and then our services include completing and submitting the application for you to ensure it is done adequately.
L.I.H. Law is a trusted immigration law firm with our office conveniently located in Seattle, near the Seattle Space Needle (2nd Ave and Denny Way).
Our well-respected attorneys exclusively practice immigration law, covering diverse topics: asylum, deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), detention cases, fiancé visas (K-1 visas), green cards, immigration status for victims of domestic violence or other crimes, naturalization applications, and much more.
The immigration attorneys and professional staff at L.I.H. Law are dedicated to providing the right solutions to meet our clients’ immigration needs. Our entire staff is fluent in Spanish and has served clientele from around the world.
Supporting our local immigration community is important to us. Our immigration lawyers and staff are active in volunteering for various community events and organizations, and conducting pro-bono work.